HOLIDAYS FOR FAMILIES: TOP HACKS ON
HOW TO KEEP THE KIDS HAPPY!
Travelling when you've got the little ones in tow can be a tricky business at times, but the more you do it the more you'll realise that you can have a fun family holidays that are fit for everyone, from tots to teens. We want your summer holidays to be as stress-free as possible, that's why we've rounded up the top hacks on how to keep the kids happy on holiday - simply browse our fantastic beach and city breaks and you're set for a fantastic trip without any tantrums!
SMART AIRLINE TRAVEL TIPS
A holiday begins at the airport and checking-in can be a task in itself if you've got young kids running around. Trunki's are a great investment if you want to keep the kids entertained in long queues - the small suitcase is perfect to carry on as their hand luggage and the strap allows you to wheel them along quite happily - saving their legs from those far away departure gates. If you're going on a low-cost carrier, take notes from our how to pack and suitcase hacks.
It's smart to be selective when it comes to boarding too, if you're travelling as two parents and a child/children, try to book an aisle and window seat so the kids can sit inbetween the both of you - you can double check these details with the airline if you need to, most will be accommodating and willing to help out those travelling with family. If you've got the room it's also a good idea to bring a pillow (not the small travel pillows but a normal size fluffy pillow) - yes it’s a little bulky, but it can be a life saver if you want to settle the kids on a long journey (particularly if it's overnight). Plus once they're finished with it, you can use it for yourself!
FAMILY HOLIDAYS WITH TEENAGERS
Let’s face it, unfortunately your children may not enjoy hanging out with their 'uncool' parents as they used to, but check out our top destinations for families of all ages. and you're sure to find a resort that suits the whole brood. Ask the kids what they would like to do on holiday and if they pick the beach, then you could get down to planning it together. You could also book an all inclusive family holiday at a resort, where there are fantastic watersports on offer.
Activity themed holidays such as skiing, cycling and sailing can be a great way for the whole family to interact and if you really want to increase your cred with your teenagers, what about an adventure holiday? These bucket list adventures will make memories for years.
BEST KIDS HOLIDAYS
If you need some inspiration for family hotels and resorts, no worries.
Hotels with waterparks nearby get a thumbs up with most younger cubs. The Siam Park waterpark in Tenerife is one of the best in the world, with its famously fast Tower of Power ride – so why not consider a stay at nearby Costa Adeje resort? The Neptuno Costa Adeje Aparthotel is a good value, family-friendly option with pools and a playground. It’s also close to the resort's other popular park, Aqualand. Even better than a trip to a waterpark on holiday is having your very own waterpark in the hotel. You’ll find lots of hotels with waterparks in Turkey. Just like waterparks, all kids love themeparks. Salou is a sunny holiday hotspot on the Costa Dorada, and Europe’s biggest themepark, PortAventura, is on its doorstep.
GAMES FOR FAMILY BEACH HOLIDAYS
How great would it feel to have fun with the family while remaining organised at the same time? Luckily for you, we've got some superb beach games that will help you do just that - but be sure to check the local beach rules (usually displayed on a sign or notice board) as to what’s allowed and what’s not e.g. ball games. The simple joys of building a sandcastle can’t be overrated so don’t forget to bring a bucket and spade. The kids could go hunting for seashells and driftwood to decorate their sand sculpture. Keep the kids busy by getting them to fill a bucket with cups of water fetched from the sea and whoever finishes first wins. Do charades or other mime games, like guessing “What animal am I?” (using no sounds). Older children often make new friends on the beach so they may be content to make their own entertainment. Encourage them to bring a book (if it’s a Harry Potter you may want to read it yourself) or a personal stereo so you can all have some “quiet time”.
TRAVEL GAMES FOR TODDLERS
Even children who are normally well behaved can get antsy on a long plane or car ride. If you have one, it's worth bringing a tablet on board and loading it with your child’s favourite shows and games. A new sticker book or story for the plane can be really handy too, especially for persuading active toddlers to sit down ready for take-off! If you plan on travelling around a lot, you can play music during car journeys or engage them in easy in-car games such as "I Spy".
TOP TIPS FOR FUN FAMILY ACTIVITY
It's not often you have the chance to spend time with the whole family, so when you do it's important to make the most of it. Try to introduce a time of day (such as meal times) when there are no distractions such as phones, iPads etc. and simply enjoy each other’s company. A great way to get everybody excited about your holiday is to ask them all for suggestions of what to do and where to go. Settle on something that none of you has done before and try it together for the first time - whether it's a banana boat ride or a trying a local delicacy, it'll be a great bonding experience!
TRAVEL FIRST-AID KIT FOR A FAMILY HOLIDAY
Put together, or buy from a chemist or travel clinic, a basic first-aid kit containing antiseptic cream, water sterilisation tablets, assorted plasters, scissors and tweezers (not in hand luggage). A first aid essentials kit is handy to have on holidays and will ensure you've got any unwanted bugs, bites or bashes covered. Decongestant tablets are handy for earache on flights, Calamine lotion and antihistamine cream is useful for soothing rashes, burns and stings (must be less than 100ml if in hand luggage), plus junior painkillers and, of course, high-protection sun cream!
TRAVEL BABY FOOD
The usual restrictions on taking liquids on-board aircrafts don’t apply to baby formula or bottled breast milk. Most parents find it easiest to bring travel-sized cartons of made up formula for the journey but you can also bring powder and flasks of boiled water alongside your sterilised bottles. For older babies, pack plenty of water and food you know they’ll eat. Plane journeys are a good time to relax the rules and provide a few yummy snacks as the occasional tasty treat can go a long way towards battling boredom.